With so many of our experiential programs venturing into the online or virtual world over the past year, it is clear that zoom fatigue is a real thing.
Our friends at the Institute for Experiential Learning (IFEL) know this too and have posted a recent article about how to combat zoom fatigue in some really simple ways. Here is one of their latest Online Experiential Learning Trainer tips that tackles the issue.
Zoom Fatigue is Real
If you are feeling zoom fatigue, you are not alone. Stanford University researchers recently identified four causes for Zoom fatigue:
- Excessive close-up eye contact
- Seeing yourself constantly in real-time
- Sitting immobile for too long
- Excessive video chat causes cognitive overload
How To Beat Zoom Fatigue
Happily, all of this can be fixed and adjusted with strategic virtual design and delivery! Here are some tips to overcome these four screen-based ailments:
Cause 1: Excessive close-up eye contact
- Design for moments where participants can turn off video or close their eyes, such as reflecting on paper and pen, visualizations, etc.
- Encourage participants to look away from the screen, especially farther away in distance, such as look around your room for X, look 6 metres away for a moment to refocus your eyes, etc.
Cause 2: Seeing yourself constantly in real-time
- Turn on “Hide Self View” mode the moment you start the meeting and when you enter breakout rooms. To make this happen, scroll over your own Zoom window, and look for a button with three dots in the top right hand of the window. If you click on that you will see the ‘Hide Self-View’ option and it is a real game-changer to re-create the in-person training feeling!
- Set guidelines/ expectations upfront and call out this pain point about self-consciousness on video. Taking time to create a safe container can help participants feel less nervous about turning their videos on and support your meeting results in the long run.
Cause 3: Sitting immobile for too long
- Design for active/kinesthetic moments. For example, it can be as simple as inviting your group to stand up and start the meeting with a group stretch, energizer, or some other activity that encourages physical movement. Hint: playmeo’s activity database features 100s of possible activities that will achieve this goal.
- Facilitate activities that break out of the Zoom box – get people moving with virtual field trips, walk and talks, and more.
Cause 4: Excessive video chat
- Implement audio-centred activities, invite your participants to turn off their video at certain points if it is not necessary.
- Play around with the different views (speaker, gallery, spotlighting) and direct your group to what view may support them most at each moment.
Like playmeo, IFEL is passionate about bringing experiential learning to the virtual environment. If this is a skill you’d like to master, take a look at their range of online courses including their popular Facilitating Experiential Learning Online workshop.
You can also learn more about how to engage your virtual teams and audiences by diving into the following related articles: